Antonsson: I'm glad Diamanti and Gilardino play on my team!

The Sweden centre-back has said two of the Italy internationals who play on his team are fantastic players, and believes Manolo Gabbiadini has the potential to be just as good
By Sergio Stanco

Bologna defender Mikael Antonsson has admitted he is "glad" he does not have to face the calibre of striker the Rossoblu have at their disposal in both Alessandro Diamanti and Alberto Gilardino.

Gilardino is on loan from Genoa and has scored 10 goals this season, while Diamanti is the club’s captain and has netted seven times.

And Antonsson revealed his happiness at not having to defend against the pair while, also stating that it was good they received recognition for their high level of performance by receiving Italy call-ups.

"They are two great players and are very important to us. I'm glad that both have been selected by their national team," he told

"I’d like to thank them for the good work they are doing with Bologna. I'm glad they play on my team."

The Sweden defender added that Manolo Gabbiadini, on loan from Juventus, is going to become a very good player.

He said: "I have no doubt, Gabbiadini has everything to become an important player for the Italy national team."

Antonsson also concedes Italian football is of a higher standard than any league he has played in before, but is adapting and rising to the challenge.

"I've never played in a league like Serie A. With Copenhagen I played several matches in Europe, but the difficulty here is that every Sunday the opponent's level is very high and every game is extremely difficult," he continued.

"My main goal is to grow as a player. For the team I hope to get as high in the league as possible this season. My dream is to continue to play for my national team.

"Off the field the lifestyle is a bit different. On the pitch, once you learn the main words for directions to the defence, the rest is simple: the language of football is similar throughout the world."

He also insisted there is a positive atmosphere around the club and the Rossoblu can continue to improve.

Antonsson added: "We are growing after a difficult start, but we can still improve. The team has great spirit on the pitch and in the locker room. This is crucial if you want to improve in Serie A.”

Bologna face Inter at the weekend and sit in 11th place in Italy's top flight.